OpEd: Attend “Beyond My Accent” presentation on Thursday

Andrew Matcho, Guest Writer

Have you ever run had a hard time understanding someone because of their accent?

“Beyond My Accent” presented by Amy E. Kuiken discusses why and how we form opinions based on the accents we hear.

We will learn how to unpack this topic using a linguistic framework. Furthermore, she will be teaching useful tips when it comes to understanding accents from people across the world.

I see this as an opportunity of a lifetime since accents are an issue I face daily when interacting with people face-to-face.

It is almost inevitable that you will come across people who are hard to understand based on where they are from. I personally encounter this sort of phenomena almost daily, in texting and speaking to people across the globe. Also, anyone interested in travelling should strive to attend this event.

Being able to respect and understand the backgrounds of people who come from areas with different accents is important for a good experience.

We will learn that even if our accents are different, there are many things that can also bring us together.

I also see “Beyond My Accent” as a great event for those who are trying to get out of their comfort zone in small steps to become accustomed to diversity as a whole.

There are many people, like me, who aren’t the most comfortable striking up a conversation with someone I know has a hard to understand accent.

Unfortunately this puts me in a spot where I’m not being as inclusive as I could be, and I’m missing out on an opportunity to create new connections.

I am hopeful this event will break me out of my shell and create a new social skill that will be beneficial to my future.

I deeply encourage anyone who is interested to see Amy Kuiken’s talk on March 21 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room Breiseth 320.

Andrew Matcho is a Wilkes junior and is studying computer information systems.